When it comes to outdoor haircuts, state won't budge

Posted at 4:49 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 20:21:01-04

SAN DIEGO — Corinne Lam didn't waste anytime once she learned she wouldn't be allowed to cut hair indoors anymore.

She spent Monday afternoon gathering tents, misters, and rugs to make it somewhat bearable to move Rancho Bernardo’s Salotto Salon’s operations into its parking lot.

"We were essentially ready to start operating tomorrow outdoors,” she said Tuesday.

Governor Newsom on Monday ordered salons, gyms and malls to cease indoor operations to slow the increasing spread of Covid-19.

Lam didn't think moving outside would be a problem. After all, the County of San Diego said businesses could shift operations outside under tents, canopies or sun shelters if the sides are not closed and there is sufficient air movement.

Lam, who owns the salon with her husband, was planning to do just that until she learned the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology won’t allow it.

“The law - in the Business and Professions Code - states that all barbering and cosmetology services must be performed IN a licensed establishment,” said Cheri Gyuro, spokeswoman for the state Department of Consumer Affairs. “Therefore, these types of business in the required counties must be closed immediately.”

It's a devastating blow to Salotto Salon and those like it across the county - because unlike last shutdown, they've exhausted all of their stimulus funds through the paycheck protection program.

“We're not just hairstylists,” Lam said. “We are professionals and business owners and mothers, and all we want is to be able to do what we do.”

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The outdoor set that Salotto Salon would have used beginning July 15, 2020

Gyms meanwhile, are now working to expand outside - and are able to offer services under tents. Lam said it just doesn't make sense.

Gyuro added that there are additional concerns about sanitation and heat. She said, however, that the state is looking “deeply” into this question and exploring options.